Intel drives mobile vision at IDF

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Intel has laid out its vision of smaller, more powerful and more energy efficient mobile devices that provide a greatly improved user experience..

Kevin Kahn, director of Intel's Communications Technology Lab and senior fellow at the company, said at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai that Intel will focus on several key areas of mobile development.

Today's mobile devices use local applications via a form-factor driven interface and provide a very limited view of the internet, according to Kahn.

Future devices need to be more focused on web applications that can be accessed in a variety of ways and can interact with the local environment.

Such devices need to offer a full internet experience and should be aware of the relevance of their location and environment.

"The goal is for a human supervised experience, not a human controlled one," he said. "Interaction with other electronic devices will help users accomplish what they want."

Kahn went on to elaborate on the three main areas on which the new mobility research effort will focus.

The first is smaller form factors and improved power efficiency. This part of the research will look into enabling hardware control of platform components for longer and deeper "sleep states".

Algorithms will control when and how a radio can be powered down, for example, and complete digital multi-radios and reconfigurable antennae will save power and help enable smaller form factors.

The second area is personalisation that anticipates user needs. Intel is researching techniques for mobile devices of the future to have greater awareness of the user's preferences.

The devices will deliver new services and capabilities to satisfy those preferences using sensors, context frameworks and web-based services, as well as privacy and security for user data protection.

The third area will focus on mobile devices that are more 'aware', and which interact with technology in the environment.

Intel researchers are looking at how future mobile devices will operate beyond their own form factor by utilising the power and capabilities of nearby wireless devices including display, storage, processing and user interaction.

Kahn stressed that connectivity needs to converge, rather than diverge as it has over the years.

He highlighted the wide range of connection options available on most devices today, including Wi-Fi, WiMax, 3G, UWB and Bluetooth.

Companies need to work together to create a less diverged and simpler connectivity standard to help facilitate communication between a broad range of devices.

Kahn concluded that the design of mobile devices needs to be more considerate of users' needs rather than on pure engineering.

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